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Showing posts from February, 2014

My first rocket alert.

10.05am. I just woke up a couple of minutes ago, I'm still half asleep, laying in my bed when suddenly the sirenss go off, I've never heard the rocket attacks alarm but after 20 seconds of listening to the loud thing I'm pretty sure it can only be that.
What do I do? What do I do? My brain is panicking to find a solution. I look out the window and people seem very calm about it, no one is running, two guys are on the rooftop of the opposite building, overlooking the streets. I admire these people who can stay very calm with this amazingly loud sirens.
Is this really an alert? Should I go find a shelter? Where and how do I find a shelter? Why doesn't anyone tell newbies where the next shelter is?
Let's stay very calm in my bed.

After 5 minutes the sirens stop, the loudness of busy Jerusalem slowly starts again. I reach for my laptop and google sirens and Jerusalem. Nothing. I alter my search a few times, still nothing. Should this be alarming?
I calm down, start re…

The world is fine!

Here's my latest human interaction which happened on my way back from the shop (out of grape water!!!).

"Hey, are you looking for a job?"
"Uhm no, I have a job"
"Oh, what do you do?"
"I'm a journalist."
"What's your name?"
"Surya"
"Nice to meet you, my name is..." (I forgot his name already damn me)
"Nice to meet you too"
"You're very pretty, can I take you out sometime?"
"Erm thanks but I'm taken"
"Of course! If you hadn't been taken, there would be something wrong with the world, you're too pretty."

So don't worry, the world is just fine! Ah, Israeli guys... always trying to chat girls up! So many guys wanted to be my best friends...

Day 37/Rant

When talking about homophobia and horrible countries that pass anti-gay laws we often think about Putin's Russia, Uganda, Mugabe, and such. These places are more or less far and their society are perceived as traditional, old fashion, nothing like our Western society that is so amazing.
Yet we needn't look so far from home... We forget homophobia is on the rise everywhere, even in Europe. I feel awful whenever I tell my girlfriend I can't hold her hand when we're walking in the centre of Brussels, the capital of Europe. She doesn't hold it against me but I get angry at our society where I can't feel safe because of who I love.
A week after Kansas almost did the same but gave up at the last minute, Arizona passed a bill that would allow businesses to refuse to serve or give medical treatment to gays on religious grounds. First off if you want to get biblical, according to the scriptures, you should hate the sin, not the sinner (Matthew 5:43-44, 6:14-15, and ple…

"What is your name?"

"What is your name?" is always the first question I get when an official opens my passport in Israel, looking at me with this incredulous look on their face, eyebrows raised, waiting for my confirmation that my name is Surya which to them, pronounced the way my parents call me, sounds like the word for Syria in both Arabic and Hebrew. (What it really is, or the way my parents intended it anyway, is the sun)

Today I also learnt from someone that apparently, I look like what could be interpreted by many Israelis as a left-wing extremist student come to do activism in the country. And I certainly don't look like the typical intern that would walk into the office, which is a good thing. I do agree, I don't like looking like the norm, I like looking like what I want to look like. Anyway, I was in no way offended by this, I found it rather amusing and very insightful.

I was told this, and it was later confirmed to me by someone else, as I said I was always detained at the…

"She's a good woman"

Women of Israel...

If you know them personally and have even the slightest relationship with them, they are truly awesome, the nation of Jewish mums. They will make sure you're fine all the time, worry for you ten times more than you if you have the slightest problem, they would send you to the doctor and force you to stay in bed if you coughed just once.
But.
If you encounter them at work when they have to provide a service for you, forget it, you instantly become the most annoying creature on the planet. It starts at the airport ID check when you arrive in Tel Aviv. If you are a woman (yes because I've never experienced any of these things as a man, I can't speak from that point of view, sorry) and you have an option, try to choose a man, they'll be nicer to you. The last time a guy sent me to the "waiting room" he apologised. But the women, they hate you, you're here to have some fun aren't you? Well I hate you, I'm not going to smile to you, …

Apology, this service will resume shortly.

I have not abandoned you, dear reader, or this blog. As you may know I moved houses last week and I am currently out of an internet connection, this issue will be settled at the beginning of the week. Just so you know I have a ton of subjects I want to write about that I will eventually write as soon as my connection issues are settled.

I apologise for any inconvenience.

Shabbat is coming!

Shabbat is in the air!

It's Friday, it's 4pm and I need to rush to my friends' flat if I want to make it in time to cook for Shabbat.

I get out of my shoebox (I finally moved in) which is near the Old City, and start my 30-minute-long walk. The streets are packed, everyone is in their best attire, walking towards the Old Jerusalem to pray at the Western Wall. Orthodox, young and old, men wear their best looking hat over their yarmulkas, their leather shoes are as shiny as ever. More moderate people are still wearing their best clothes. I'm not though, I was rushing and now I feel a little out of place, going to schul in sneakers is not the best idea I've ever had. But they're the most comfortable shoes to walk in, shouldn't that count on Shabbat? Everyone looks serene, happy.

The roads are packed too, everyone is commuting to where they need to be before Shabbat starts (Approximately 4.30pm). I'm out of the centre, walking by the parks. For once, their…